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Posted: Oct 27, 2012

Titanium oxide nanotubes used to fabricate optimized anodes for fuel cells

(Nanowerk News) Researchers at Tabriz University succeeded in the production of a porous layer of titanium dioxide nanotubes on the titanium surface by using titanium as the sub-layer and its anodization in organic solutions (see paper in Electrochmica Acta: "UV-cleaning properties of Pt nanoparticle-decorated titania nanotubes in the electro-oxidation of methanol: An anti-poisoning and refreshable electrode").
The researchers also produced electrocatalysts with high area by dispersing platinum nanoparticles on the sub-layer.
“Titanium is an active metal and it is oxidized quickly and forms a sticky layer of titanium oxide on the surface of titanium, which prevents the next stages of the reaction. Therefore, we decided to remove the sub-layer in the first place,” Dr. Mirqassem Hosseini, one of the researchers of the plan, stated.
"We could do it successfully through various methods. After the removal of the heterogeneous and sticky titanium oxide from titanium surface, we created titanium dioxide nanotubes with very regular structure on titanium surface through electrochemical anodization method. Then, we dispersed platinum nanoparticles inside the synthesized titanium dioxide nanotubes," he added.
Electrochemical studies on the synthesized electrodes showed that compared to the ordinary electrodes, these electrodes have higher area and less chance of being poisoned. Therefore, they can be used as effective anodes in fuel cells due to their less price and more appropriate electrocatalytic activity.
Among other advantages of the electrodes, mention can be made of repeatability of the results, reduction in the poisoning of the electrode surface due to the adsorption of intermediates created during the reaction, low final price, cleaning of the surface of the poisoned electrode with UV radiation and creation of a fresh and clean electrode surface, and the ease of production.
Source: INIC
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